Process and Chemical Engineering – Book Chapters

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 9
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    Identifying energy poor households in the Global North
    (Routledge, 2023-12) Dunphy, Niall P.; Lennon, Breffní; Velasco-Herrejón, Paola; Velasco-Herrejón, Paola; Lennon, Breffní; Dunphy, Niall P.; Horizon 2020
    This chapter discusses findings from an ongoing Horizon 2020 project, EnergyMeasures, relating to identifying and recruiting energy-poor households in seven participating countries (BE, BG, IE, MK, NL, PL, and UK). Understanding the wicked problem of energy poverty is not an easy undertaking and is replete with multiple layers of complexity across numerous intersecting societal and environmental scales. Practitioners tasked with engaging energy-poor households acknowledge the difficulties involved, especially when trying to connect with those hard-to-reach households who may or may not identify as energy poor. While this chapter draws from experiences in Europe, the range and depth of practical knowledges held by the consortium partners allowed us to uncover a range of nuanced and considered approaches one can take on the topic that reflect the historical, cultural, and environmental factors specific to each country. Consequently, we critique these approaches to identifying and measuring energy vulnerability, especially indicators of energy poverty and so-called supporting indicators. As is noted throughout this book, the focus on energy poverty analysis has tended to stay at the macro-, or meso-, levels while understanding contexts at the local level often remain underdeveloped or ignored. In keeping with the overall theme of the book, approaches on how to appropriately identify energy-poor households are drawn from both the literature and experiences of practitioners active ‘in the field’.
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    The Hare and the tortoise: Metaphorical lessons around sustainability
    (Routledge, 2021-07-30) McGookin, Connor; Ó Gallachóir, Brian P.; Byrne, Edmond P.
    This chapter examines the Aesop’s fable of the hare and the tortoise, its companion classical Roman proverb “festina lente”, and the role that the moral of this story may have in informing contemporary narratives around sustainability. In doing this, four narratives are examined. The first is that of environmentalism as a social movement. This looks at the roots of the contemporary environmental movement since the 1960s, which despite some early promise and (speedy) successes, ultimately left many disappointed in the pervading context of an ever-increasing consumerist society. The second narrative compares climate change experts, who have consistently advocated for acting now and fast, but find that action is held back by overarching socio-economic forces of neo-classical economics, which favour either the status quo or very gradual behavioural change, or profess faith in an ultimate reliance on techno-optimistic “solutions”. The third narrative considers niche activities versus mainstreaming and seeks to demonstrate that though isolated niche initiatives can have their value in demonstrating what works, or doesn’t, it is only through mainstreaming of transformational practices, which necessarily requires more patience and takes longer, that ultimately whole systemic change can occur. Finally, a fourth narrative uses the metaphor of evolving human civilisation as a maturing process; heretofore we’ve acted like children and adolescents, rebelling against old (pre-modern) wisdom, in our need to move fast and party (on cheap energy), but we are now at a stage where we need to metaphorically grow up, get wise, and slow down. To conclude, it is noted that sustainability is not a sprint but a marathon, as with the natural flow of evolution, in which a slow and steady progress (of iteratively learning, making mistakes, and relearning, all as a function of context) may in many respects work for the better.
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    University College Cork, Process & Chemical Engineering: 21 Years of Graduates Reunion
    (University College Cork, 2019-01) Byrne, Edmond P.
    Celebrating 21 years of UCC Process and Chemical Engineering Graduates, 1997-2018. Maryborough House Hotel Friday 4th January 2019. Reunion Commemorative Booklet
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    Whose transition? A review of citizen participation in the energy system
    (Routledge, 2022-12) Dunphy, Niall P.; Lennon, Breffní; Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
    Writing in the late 1980s, Jon Fiske describes reality as “always encoded [and most especially] by the codes of our culture”. The energy transition is one of the latest sets of realities that comes with its own encoded messaging and nomenclatures. Citizens are increasingly expected to actively participate in the energy domain and play their part in transitioning to low-carbon energy systems. Terms like “energy citizen” have been used to describe (the accepted forms of) this participation, typically in quite prescriptive and rather limited roles, such as active consumer and prosumer. However, as with other manifestations of citizen-consumer ideals, where the framing is presented as the embodiment of freedom, the vagueness of such terms lock citizens out of what could potentially be a transformative conceptualization for transitioning to more equitable and empowering energy experiences. This chapter will examine how under-theorized and contested concepts like the “energy citizen” are already framing our collective experience(s) of the energy transition and asks for whom is the emerging energy system designed?
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    Engineering with Social Sciences and Humanities; necessary partnerships in facing contemporary (un)sustainability challenges
    (Springer Nature, 2023-01-17) Byrne, Edmond P.; Keohane, Kieran; Revez, Alexandra; Boyle, Evan; McGookin, Connor; Dunphy, Niall P.; O'Neill, Claire; Harris, Clodagh; Hughes, Ian; Sage, Colin; Barry, John; Ó Gallachóir, Brian; Mullally, Gerard
    Traditionally, the relationship between engineering, social sciences, and the humanities (SSH) has often been, to varying degrees, fraught, imbalanced and/or non-existent. Engineering has oftentimes been guilty of envisaging SSH as either providing a ‘soft’ window dressing or counterbalance to ‘hard’ projects representing ‘real’ progress, or to be used to more effectively ‘communicate’, for example in overcoming public reticence around such projects. The stories, histories, (her)stories, myths, language, text, images, art, provocations and critical insights which emanate from and characterize SSH are in this (dulled and marginalized) context more likely to be conceived as mere frivolous pursuits to help fill and support leisure time or promote cultural pursuits. This, we argue, not just feeds into the disconnect between respective disciplinary approaches, but seriously and dangerously miscomprehends the value (and values) that SSH can and indeed must bring to the table, in particular when facing emerging and emergent contemporary interconnected challenges around (un)sustainability. SSH can also benefit from such authentic and pragmatic engagement with engineering and science, while highlighting the necessary and invaluable contribution it can make to society, and across our universities, in particular in facing contemporary meta-challenges. This chapter draws upon academics and practitioners from both sides of the house in an Irish university context, who have journeyed together upon such pathways. The terrain and nature of some of these journeys are described, including some of the inherent difficulties and challenges. We highlight the need for journeying together with ‘disciplinary humility’, as equal partners, if we hope to make authentic progress. Finally, some historic and contemporary examples of potential points of convergence are proposed.